Africa Athletics Championship: Team Nigeria miss Olympics ticket, despite win in women’s 4x400m

 Despite winning gold and finishing well ahead of the rest of the field in the final of the women’s 4x400m at the Africa Senior Athletics Championship in Cameroon, Nigeria failed to pick their only remaining relay ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympics which will hold from July 26 to August 11.

The quartet of Ella Onojuvwevwo, Patience Okon-George, Esther Elo Joseph and Omolara Ogunmakinju ran away with the win in the women’s 4x400m final on Wednesday, clocking a time of 3:27.31 but it was not enough to get them the ticket to Paris.

Nigeria needed to run faster than 3:26.08 to topple Cuba and qualify for the Olympics. Still, they defeated Botswana and Zambia who were second and third respectively to win the gold.

The women’s 4x100m relay is the only relay Nigeria has failed to qualify for having punched the other four tickets during the World Relays in the Bahamas in May.

Their absence in the Bahamas was hinged on visa issues for some of the athletes, including Patience Okon-George, while the 2023 African Games sensational anchor leg Omolara Ogunmakinju was sidelined by injury.

With just three days to the end of the qualifying window, the hopes of the quartet making to Paris seem to have faded. Despite winning gold, Onojuvwevwo, Okon-George, Joseph and Ogunmakinju were crestfallen after the final.

Meanwhile, the men’s quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Sikiru Adeyemi, Dubem Nwachukwu and Samuel Ogazi also missed out on the podium in their final at the African Championships, finishing fourth in a time of 3:02.93 behind Zambia, Kenya and Botswana.